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If you haven't already, the time is now to purchase your first gun. With all the talk about restrictions it's only a matter of time before our rights in the 2nd Amendment no longer exist. One the legislation comes out, it will be too late. We have a right to defend our families, so it's important you've got a firearm in order to do so.

But don't just rush out and get any old gun. There's a few things to consider to ensure you're ready and actually purchase the right gun.

Could you shoot another person?

Before you even head down to your local gun shop, you need to be clear on one key point. Having a gun is pointless if you're not ready to shoot. Would you be able to point a gun at another person? Would you be able to pull the trigger? What if you kill them?

Having doubts is a good thing. It means you're human. But it also presents a challenge. In a home invasion or another high-stress situation, these doubts will be magnified a thousand-fold. And whilst you never really know how you're going to actually react, it's likely that any doubts you feel now will become hesitation when it comes down to it. You know in your gut what you would do. And this hesitation could get you and your family killed. Pulling out a gun escalates a situation, and if you're unwilling to use it – it could become deadly in your opponent's hands.

Consider what your gun is for

You're also going to have to think about why you want a gun. Because there are many different types, designed to do many different jobs. A rifle is great for accuracy when hunting, but it's not easy to conceal as an everyday carry. Shotguns may be versatile, but they're also difficult to handle. Look at the benefits and drawbacks of the different kinds of firearms and choose the one that's best for you. My advice, is to get a handgun first. It's great for self-defense, and you can start carrying it with you at all times.

Consider the right firearm for you

It's silly to think you can read an article on the internet and choose the perfect firearm. It just doesn't happen, especially if it's your first gun. So head down to the shooting range and test out a few different models. You'll get to actually feel how the recoil hits, and you may realize that you don't actually need a .44 Magnum. Ensure your hand fits in the grip, its comfortable to holster and carry, and most importantly, you're happy shooting it.

Steer clear of second-hand dealers

It goes without saying that you can save a significant amount of cash buying a gun second-hand, but I would recommend buying new, especially for your first gun. You never know what scam the dealer is trying to pull, and you've not yet got the experience or know-how to spot any issues with the gun. It's not your fault, it's a fact. In addition, most manufacturers offer a warranty, so if there's a problem or something goes wrong, you can get it fixed or replaced without being out-of-pocket yourself. Buying used usually means no warranty, especially if there's been any modifications to the gun. Plus there's always a chance they've not kept their gun properly clean. Do yourself a favor. Get a cleaning kit and keep your firearms in the best possible condition.

Don't get a fancy caliber

One of the most important things to consider when buying a gun is the cost of ammunition. You don't want to waste hundreds of dollars learning how to shoot or trying to source unusual calibers that your local store may not stock. The cheapest is usually a .22, along with 9mm rounds, 40 cal and .357 being available pretty much everywhere. You will certainly find other products in your gun store but stick to a common caliber first. It'll make it that much easier to head down to the range and shoot a few rounds.

Purchase a reputable brand

When you're buying a gun it's important to also do your research. You're purchasing a weapon that may someday safe your life, so don't cheap out. It's not a cheap purchase that's for sure, but an investment. If your life depends on it, you'd pay any amount of money to stay alive, so set aside a decent budget for your first firearm. Same goes for the gun you're buying your wife. There's hundreds of articles out there debating the merits of different brands, and while I'm not going to get stuck into the details, you should. Read the reviews and choose a brand with a solid track record and a good reputation.

Make a commitment to practice

Once you've got your hands on your first firearm, you need to learn to shoot. Head down to your range and put a few rounds through your new gun. And take some targets too. I'd also recommend signing up to a class, and once you're completed it make a commitment to get down to the range and practice at least once a month. Practice will quickly turn into experience, and a confidence in both handling your gun and yourself. This confidence is what counts in a deadly encounter, as you'll actually have the skill to draw and shoot before your assailant has a chance. And this goes for your wife too. There's no point having a firearm in the house if she's home alone and has no idea how to use it.

Buying your first gun is an exciting experience, and with a little patience it's a relatively simple process. The trick is to be smart about it, make the right decisions, and you'll end up with the perfect firearm to protect you and your family. Along with the skills in how to use it.

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